ASTM D4643-00

    Standard Test Method for Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil by the Microwave Oven Method


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    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method outlines procedures for determining the water (moisture) content of soils by incrementally drying soil in a microwave oven.

    1.2 This test method is not intended as a replacement for Test Method D2216; but, rather as a supplement when more rapid results are required or desired to expedite other phases of testing. Test Method D2216 is to be used as the method to compare for accuracy checks and correction.

    1.3 When questions of accuracy between this test method and Test Method D2216 arise, Test Method D2216 shall be the referee method.

    1.4 This test method is applicable for most soil types. For some soils, such as those containing significant amounts of halloysite, mica, montmorillonite, gypsum or other hydrated materials, highly organic soils, or soils in which the pore water contains dissolved solids (such as salt in the case of marine deposits), this test method may not yield reliable water content values.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety problems, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. See Section 7.

    Note 1-Notwithstanding statements of precision and bias contained in this standard, the precision of this test method is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing. Users of this test method are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself ensure reliable testing. Reliable testing depends on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4220 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Soil Samples

    D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing

    D5079 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Rock Core Samples

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.40 (Hydrological properties of soil)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D4643-00

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4643-00, Standard Test Method for Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil by the Microwave Oven Method, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2000, www.astm.org

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